Stellae Errantes: Elephant Paintings for the 21st Century
Sarah Soward’s latest series of oil paintings, Stellae Errantes, is headed to the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art. Before it gets shipped out, Soward is previewing the exhibition at Claremont Art Studios on Saturday, July 18th, from 4pm to 8pm. The preview is free to the public.
Stellae Errantes translates roughly to “Wandering Stars”. The term, wandering stars, was used by ancient Greeks to describe the planets of our solar system because the planets in the night sky looked just like stars to the naked eye but behaved differently. They moved.
The idea of planets as wandering stars (stellae errantes) helps Soward to personify the planets using the stories of the deities those planets are named after and images of the most massive land animals, who happen to have nomadic tendencies. In this series, Soward equates the elephant to both the sacred and the scientific. For some paintings, the scientific inspiration is more obvious and in others it is less direct. When a celestial object has more than one possible name (English: Sun, Hawaiian: Laa, Latin: Sol), the artist defers first to the naming as set forth by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and secondarily to the Latin. Soward used this rationale as the decision to name the series in Latin.
One of Soward’s main goals as an artist is to raise awareness about conservation of endangered and threatened animals. There are two species of elephant. The Asian elephant is endangered. The African elephant is vulnerable but not yet on the endangered list. Current estimates state that in the last 10 years, central Africa has lost 64% of its elephant population.
Sarah Soward shows her work nationally and competes at the international level. She currently has a painting shortlisted for a wildlife award in the prestigious DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2015 exhibition in London.
Parking is limited. Please walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit if you can!
Saturday, July 18th, 2015
4pm to 8pm
Claremont Art Studios
1515 S. Claremont St.
San Mateo CA 94402
RSVP: Please RSVP here.
To see more work by Sarah Soward, visit her website.